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Presentation Information

Nicholas D. Embleton

Milk and gut microbes: early feeding and outcomes in preterm and term neonates

  • Speaker: Nicholas D. Embleton , MD, MBBS, FRCPCH, BSc
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 Nursing CEU, 1 CME, .1 Midwifery CEU

There is increasing evidence that the pattern of gut microbes affects a range of health and disease outcomes for both term and preterm infants. At birth, the gastro-intestinal tract is largely sterile, but rapidly becomes colonized by organisms in the environment, contact with the mother and from breast milk. The numerous advantages of breast milk throughout the life-course may be due, in part, to the patterns of early gut bacteria, and the interactions between milk, microbes and the immune system. These interactions are likely to be pivotal to the development of infections and necrotising enterocolitis (NEC, a serious inflammatory gut complication) in preterm infants. Data show that early colonisation in preterm infants on NICUs is profoundly abnormal. However, knowing how these patterns are affected by milk type, immuno-nutrients (such as lactoferrin), antibiotics and probiotics is important as it may allow the design of strategies to improve health outcomes.